Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

I have loved blueberries since I was an infant.  My mom has pictures of me with a permanent purple stain down my chin, chest, and into my belly button.  My infant tongue wasn’t yet refined enough to sound out the name of this little blue miracle correctly…all I could manage was “bloo blellies.”  (Which is actually a lot harder to say than blueberries.)

Last year I was fed up with not having blueberry plans, so I got 6 of varying species, all suitable for our hot North Texas climate.  Blueberries prefer VERY acidic soil, however, and my area is mostly alkaline soil.  So I had to plant them in containers filled with acidic peat moss.  This year, they produced prolifically.  I harvested 4 pounds this morning.

This is my blueberry muffin recipe.  It’s quick and easy, and delicious.  These aren’t the mammoth, fluffy muffins you see at bakeries, which are the result of folding in egg whites to achieve a sponge cake-like texture.  These are rich, buttery, crisp on the outside, impossibly moist on the inside…and a little bit ugly.  One taste and you’ll be hooked.

This recipe works best with fresh blueberries.  Frozen blueberries have had all their cells pierced by ice crystals, so they weep their juice, which discolors the batter.  (There’s nothing wrong with the flavor, they just look weird.)  One way to minimize this is to toss the frozen blueberries in a little flour immediately before gently folding them into the finished batter.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine:

7 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup gently packed brown sugar (dark or light)

Cream the butter and sugar together over high speed until fluffy.  Then add:

1 egg

Continue beating for a few minutes until the mixture is thick and smooth.  In a separate bowl, combine:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Stir with your fingers until everything is well mixed.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine:

1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Into the main mixing bowl with the creamed butter and sugar, alternate additions of dry ingredients and buttermilk until everything is combined.  Then gently fold in:

2 cups fresh blueberries

Then distribute the batter into a muffin tin.  The best idea is to use cupcake liners, but if you don’t have them, spray or butter the pan very well, including the top surface.  If you use cupcake liners, it’s still a good idea to spray the top surface to prevent the muffin tops from sticking.

I fill my muffin tins with a large ice cream scoop, which gives me perfection portioning and keeps my fingers clean.  I LOVE this technique.  Ice cream scoops in my house are almost never used for ice cream, but they’re used all the time for baking.

Bake on the center rack of a preheated 375F oven for 15-20 minutes, or the top surface of the muffin springs back when you touch it lightly, and a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes back with no streaks of white batter on it.  (Blueberry juice is fine.)

Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently remove the muffins to a cooling rack.  (If the tops have stuck to the pan, you’ll need to wait a little longer for them to cool, then gently detach them from the pan with a butter knife.)  These muffins are very delicate when they are warm, so handle them with care, but they are DELICIOUS when eaten warm, so dig in!

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